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I have avoided commenting on the war because I have no specialist knowledge of the conflict, but it seems that the likely outcome is becoming increasingly clear.

If Putin sought "regime change" in Ukraine to facilitate a more compliant government, he has clearly failed. The extent of the failure is a humiliation for Russia that will probably, ultimately, cost Putin his job.

Instead he will have to settle for some territorial gains around Donbass and Mariupol and an agreement that Ukraine will not join NATO. It shouldn't have taken a major war to achieve that.

Ukraine will now probably be fast-tracked into the EU and into the EU sphere of influence in a further set-back for Putin. Europe will also reduce its dependency on Russian oil and exports and take a much more hardline approach to all Russian initiatives - including the activities of Russian cybercrime gangs.

Western sanctions on Russia will continue for the foreseeable future as the costs for the EU and its members have also been considerable. Ireland has just expelled 4 Russian diplomats, but that is only the beginning of the re-calibration of relations with Russia.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 29th, 2022 at 07:26:24 PM EST

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